Center for International Education


Holloway Hall
Salisbury University - Center for International Education
Immigration Advising

J-1 Visa Status

General Information

Keys to maintaining J-1 status

Eligibility to remain in the United States and to engage in Exchange Visitor program activities is dependent upon maintaining lawful status. When an EV enters the US, an immigration inspector asks EVs to read and sign the DS-2019 form. This signature signifies agreement to abide by the conditions of the J-1 status while in the USA. To maintain status, exchange visitors must:

  • Hold a valid, current DS-2019;
  • Maintain a passport that is valid for at least 6 months into the future;
  • Hold an I-94 card marked D/S – D/S stands for “duration of status” and refers to the program period listed in Item 3 on the DS-2019 form. The definition of J-1 “duration of status” is the period specified on the DS-2019 plus a period of 30 days for the purpose of travel;
  • Engage only in approved program activities at approved activity sites;
  • Have appropriate authorization for any work - Unauthorized employment is a violation of program status. An exchange visitor’s program can be terminated if s/he engages in unauthorized employment;
  • Follow the J-1 insurance requirement. Willful failure to carry insurance is considered a violation of program regulations and can result in program termination. The Department of State treats “willful failure” to carry insurance as a serious infraction. One's record cannot be corrected nor can one be reinstated if charged with this infraction. Please see section on the mandatory insurance requirement;
  • Abide by the two-year home country physical presence requirement;
  • Have sufficient funds to support one’s self and dependents for the duration of the program; and
  • Notify program sponsor of any changes in program activities and any changes of address within 10 days of a move.

Additional requirements may depend on specific category.  Please view the following topics:

For more information, please visit: U.S. Department of State